Connecting External FW Drive destroys FW on Logic Board - AGAIN

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by SparkyCanada, Aug 1, 2009.

  1. SparkyCanada macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    #1
    Hi everyone.

    I have had some serious isues with my Macbook Pro (2.5 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo with 4 GB 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM - Mac OS Version 10.5.7) and a Seagate FreeAgent Xtreme external hard drive.

    Twice in the last month I have cooked the logic board by plugging in the FW drive into the FW port on my laptop.

    The first time they replaced the logic board without testing my hard drive. The second time they asked me to bring in my new external hard drive.

    They've checked out both the 2nd logic board and the new hard drive numerous times and say everything works fine...

    Should it make any difference if the external drive is plugged into a wall outlet before I connect the laptop to the external drive? Or would it make a difference if the laptop is powered up before plugging in the FW drive?

    Anybody else have any experiences with this issue?

    Thanks,

    SparkyCanada
     
  2. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #2
    RE:
    "Twice in the last month I have cooked the logic board by plugging in the FW drive into the FW port on my laptop"

    IMPORTANT QUESTION:
    When the repair place tested your external hard drive, did they use YOUR connecting cable, or did they use THEIRS?

    Maybe the drive itself is just fine, and the cable is shorting out your firewire port.

    The FIRST THING I'd do is toss out whatever you're using for a firewire connecting cable, and order a new firewire cable from monoprice.com.

    Just a thought...
    - John
     
  3. cube macrumors G5

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #3
    Turn off both devices before plugging.

    Short circuits are supposed to be less of an issue when plugging an FW800 connector.
     
  4. SparkyCanada thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    #4
    John:
    They tested it using all my stuff - my FW cables & my hard drive. They specifically asked me to bring these in...

    What is the recommended way of plugging in external FW drives to your laptop? Is it power to hard drive 1st - then power to laptop?

    Thanks,

    SparkyCanada
     
  5. SparkyCanada thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    #5
    Unbelievable! Just fried 3rd logic board.

    Here's exactly what I did.

    1. Both Laptop & external drive off
    2. Connected FW cable from hard drive to laptop
    3. Plugged hard drive into wall power outlet
    4. Waited for hard drive to spin up
    5. Turned laptop on
    6. Watched computer take forever to boot up
    7. Checked the "About This Mac" section where it promptly told me it was "unable to list firewire devices"

    I just don't get it...

    SparkyCanada
     
  6. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #6
    "Unbelievable! Just fried 3rd logic board."

    Patient:
    "Doctor, it hurts when I do this."

    Doctor:
    "Well, then don't do that".

    Moral:
    Whatever you do, DON'T connect that Lacie drive to your laptop again, EVER, unless Apple is willing to provide you with an unlimited number of free logic boards.

    Suggestions:
    Try a DIFFERENT brand firewire drive/enclosure. I'd suggest you visit Other World Computing and check out their line of enclosures.

    You might consider buying an empty enclosure and taking the core drive out of the Lacie enclosure and putting it into the new one.

    More questions:
    What kind of firewire port on the laptop? Is it firewire 400 or firewire 800?

    What kind of firewire port is on the Lacie enclosure. Is it firewire 400 or firewire 800?

    If it is a firewire 400 port, get a new enclosure with a firewire 800 port. See if that works.

    If it is a firewire 800 port, get a new enclosure that has BOTH firewire 400 and 800 ports, and an 800/400 conversion cable. Try the 400 port first.

    I believe at some point Apple changed the controller chip they were using for firewire, and that this caused issues with laptops and some firewire devices. Even if Apple swaps the logic board, the replacement board will have the same problematic controller chip with the same issues.

    I'd suggest you visit "macfixit.com" and do a search on firewire issues.
    I'd also suggest that you visit "macintouch.com" and check their reader reports for similar issues.

    Hope this helps,
    - John
     
  7. SparkyCanada thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    #7
    I took the Seagate drive back. The Lacie's and Maxtor drives I have all seem to work well


    It was Firewire 400 I was trying to use...


    I called Apple & after they heard my story about how the Apple service center seemed to think the external drive was OK - and the fact that I told them I was taking the drive back to the store and was going back to purchasing drives that haven't given me any grief in past 20+ years of happy Apple use - the nice girl I spoke to at Apple agreed to replace 1 more logic board. Yeah Apple! :) At the end of the day - I'm going back to what has worked.

    I really do like Apple products - but this combination of computer and external drive just wasn't meant to be - for me...

    Thanks for the suggestions.

    SparkyCanada
     

Share This Page